This is a matter of mind. Team’s core players were the same guys battling mental blocks last year. This year – there is only hard work, hard games and pushing. Team of BC Hellenen München U16-3. Currently we are standing at Place 5 (Table HERE) out of eight teams with a W/L ratio of 3-3. Many of these games were very close ones, where we came out only with a couple of points lead. Very nerving games. Due to sickness and injuries there were also some games lost with giving away a big lead. Focus now is to keep the players healthy and keep out of injuries to have a good secound round next year.
Training hard and pushing the players mentally is paying off. One of my biggest goals this season was to leave the mental struggles we had last year and I have to say – Hellboys have grown mentally. They handle themselves better and because of that they also handle their (swings) games better. Players are trusting in each other and are working together. Even when the team is behind and losing, they don’t go down the path of self loathing anymore, instead they keep fighting. BIG DIFFERENCE in the pattern from the previous season. Taking pride in the game itself and not going down easily. Make the other team struggle every minute on the field. Though, how did we came that far? From battling with mentals blocks and being (pretty much) one of the last teams in the league to climbing the middle against stronger teams? Big part of it was winning the fight with inner self and developing great culture of the team.
This is something you achieve with Discipline and Leadership.
Every training there are things we just do. Doesn’t matter how the day is going for us. Good or bad. Never changing things that makes us stronger. Warm up is a routine, bounce the ball against the board is a routine, run the lines and stairs is a routine, getting some pushups done is a routine. Doing stuff that makes us better over and over again. Every practice. Discipline of one-self and the team. There is nothing more beautiful than a team that is self-disciplined and growing together. Even if it is not the best team in the league, there is something magical happening in this team. They came from nothing and are going for something. A part of getting a team disciplined is to get it’s leadership in order. Coach has to be a leader from the start for the team to be able even to take off, but every good coach also understands that s/he must make the leadership circle bigger. Get leadership in the team, among the players themselves. That is what I wanted to achieve as a Coach for this season. It’s happening.
A simple concept that takes a long time to execute. As I made my choice to become a leader and help others I also knew that I want to produce way more leaders on my journey. So, as we all have learned – start now with what you got. I find that basketball is a great platform where to start and develop young leaders. Make them grow from inside, then in the team, then move them outside the team in the organization… Now, this is what is making U16-3. Discipline and leadership. As I set up the right leaders among the players – everything changed. The whole structure of the team and how it behaves. EVERYBODY started being more responsible and willing to do they part to get the team further. Discipline allowed the ball to get rolling and make the guys believe in themselves. This belief made them more courageous which led to gain the ability to be able to lead. Then, when you have someone willing to take the responsibility (response to the ability: are you able? [yes/no] if yes, what is your response to this ability?) and lead the team from within the ranks. This therefore allows to strengthen the discipline even more which then starts the cycle all over again. You get the picture.
Now, we have to go after it. I’ve started to teach and implement more concepts of the game and get players to do referee licences to understand the game better. We will keep training hard and prepare for upcoming second round to get some more wins and move up in the ranks. It would be good to finish up in Top 4 this year. If we get it right even Top 3 would be possible! This would create a solid foundation in this league and we would be able to go after the first place next season. We will see. For now this team has taken a solid path of development and growth. Full of struggle, which makes them only more able to succeed in the near future.